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Dream Build - Can I Do It Before June 2012!?

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November 29, 2011 4:13:58 PM

So, I am putting together a goal for my next build. I build a new gaming rig every two years and either sell my old rig or strip it for parts. But now I am getting older with a good job and I can turn my wishing into reality.

I am going to list the build I am working towards for next year and I want you all to join in my journey with both comments and criticism. I want to follow this through every moment up until the build and even possibly video some things. This will be an extensive dream build so I am going to need all the feedback I can get. This is not a newb build either, there is a high budget in mind (barely any) and I want to scrutinize every part to make sure I nail it.

We will start with the parts then work into the liquid cooling.

Here it is. Enjoy:



  • CASE - Silverstone TJ11 - $600
  • MBU - EVGA X79 Classified - $379
  • GPU - EVGA GTX 590 Hydro x 2 - $800 x 2 = $1600
  • CPU - Intel i7 2700K 3.5GHz - $300
  • RAM - Corsair Dominator GTX 12 GB (4 x 3) 2000 - $250
  • PSU - Corsair AX1200 Gold Series - $250
  • SDD - Corsair Force Series GT 120GB - $250
  • HDD - Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $200


    Now for the water cooling setup. Keep in mind, the GPU comes with a full water block on both of them, so I will be posting water blocks for the entire motherboard, CPU and RAM. I want to do a single loop but I may run two. The theme of this entire project is going to be black and white.

    Here it goes:



  • EVGA X79 Classified Water Block has not been released by EK yet. - Assume $150
  • EK-Supreme HF - Acetal+Nickel - $80
  • EK-RAM Dominator X4 - Acetal+EN (Nickel) - $60
  • EK-BAY SPIN Reservoir - Acetal - $60
  • Koolance PMP-450 - $79
  • Black Ice GTX Xtreme 480 Radiator - $150
  • Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-15 x 4 - $15 x 4 = $60 (I have three already)



    I am going to leave another $100 here for tubing, modding, lighting, noise reduction accessories, colored PSU modular wires and fittings. Keep in mind that the theme is black and white. I might not use white tubing and I might actually get the white nitrogen despite the obvious gimicky nitrogen hype. But go big or go home. If it makes the setup look super original and a beautiful piece of tech artwork, then I am all about it.

    So, tell me what you all think. Obviously, there might be newer parts that come out. But I may still purchase these at the discounted price. Or I might upgrade to the newer tech. It will depend on the performance difference.

    Hopefully you all keep up with me as we reach closer to my goal. I definitely want to share the experience but I want all the feedback I can get.

    Total build price is ... $4500. But, figure with the discounts these parts will bring come mid next year, combo deals and the fact that these prices are MSRP; I figure the total will be around:

    $3100 - $3300.
  • More about : dream build june 2012

    November 30, 2011 5:25:00 PM

    suggestions listed in parenthesis

    CASE - Silverstone TJ11 - $600
    (corsair obsidian instead. it has very nice cable/liquid organization)
    MBU - EVGA X79 Classified - $379
    (evga makes a good product but i love my asus rampage iii rog)
    GPU - EVGA GTX 590 Hydro x 2 - $800 x 2 = $1600
    (you know you can buy aftermarket blocks to mount on any video card right? typically water cooled editions are way more expensive but you dont void the warranty by watercooling, your choice)
    CPU - Intel i7 2700K 3.5GHz - $300
    (you can overclock a normal i7...your choice though)
    RAM - Corsair Dominator GTX 12 GB (4 x 3) 2000 - $250
    (personally i'd go with mushkin or ocz but again your choice)
    PSU - Corsair AX1200 Gold Series - $250
    (i've got a 1000w corsair and its great. only half the cables were modular though. a fully modular high end psu would be ideal)
    SDD - Corsair Force Series GT 120GB - $250
    (personally i use two ssd in raid 1 for backup. if you use a single one make sure you do regular backups just in case it goes on you)
    HDD - Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $200
    (a caviar black is only about $100. i've had 3 caviar black 1.5tb drives fail on me though so keep this in mind. one replacement drive failed in under a week.)

    EK-Supreme HF - Acetal+Nickel - $80
    (look at the watercooling performance charts before deciding. also make sure you dont mix metals that can cause corrosion in your system. read up on this before picking out components.)
    EK-RAM Dominator X4 - Acetal+EN (Nickel) - $60
    (do you really need ram cooling? you will still have ambient air cooling from case fans)
    EK-BAY SPIN Reservoir - Acetal - $60
    (have a look at fancy ones on frozencpu and xoxide. i personally like the brushed aluminium ones)
    Koolance PMP-450 - $79
    (your choice in coolants... just read up on them)
    Black Ice GTX Xtreme 480 Radiator - $150
    (do NOT. i repeat do NOT put everything in one loop. also make sure you do a radiator calucation. in my i7 rig with one video card i would have needed one 3x120 and one 2x120 loops for ideal cooling. you will want your video cards and cpu to be one seperate loops. also keep in mind you will need fans that can push/pull with some force. personally i recommend some deltas with a rheostat fan control)
    Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-15 x 4 - $15 x 4 = $60 (I have three already)
    (see above comment. your choice though.)

    it looks like you need to do quite alot of research on watercooling before you even think about buying parts. trust me, do it or you'll be kicking yourself later.

    also keep in mind to budget such parts as:
    -dvd drives (two is great for burning)
    -blueray drive (if it suits your fancy)
    -front bay fan control (high watt model if using deltas)
    -multifunction port (for more usb, camera sd card ports, etc if it suits your fancy)
    -front lcd display (if it suits your fancy)
    -a quality monitor or monitors to go with the build. if you're spending this much on a computer it would really be lame to re-use the same screen unless its of very high quality.
    November 30, 2011 6:08:41 PM

    Quote:
    suggestions listed in parenthesis

    CASE - Silverstone TJ11 - $600
    (corsair obsidian instead. it has very nice cable/liquid organization)
    MBU - EVGA X79 Classified - $379
    (evga makes a good product but i love my asus rampage iii rog)
    GPU - EVGA GTX 590 Hydro x 2 - $800 x 2 = $1600
    (you know you can buy aftermarket blocks to mount on any video card right? typically water cooled editions are way more expensive but you dont void the warranty by watercooling, your choice)
    CPU - Intel i7 2700K 3.5GHz - $300
    (you can overclock a normal i7...your choice though)
    RAM - Corsair Dominator GTX 12 GB (4 x 3) 2000 - $250
    (personally i'd go with mushkin or ocz but again your choice)
    PSU - Corsair AX1200 Gold Series - $250
    (i've got a 1000w corsair and its great. only half the cables were modular though. a fully modular high end psu would be ideal)
    SDD - Corsair Force Series GT 120GB - $250
    (personally i use two ssd in raid 1 for backup. if you use a single one make sure you do regular backups just in case it goes on you)
    HDD - Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $200
    (a caviar black is only about $100. i've had 3 caviar black 1.5tb drives fail on me though so keep this in mind. one replacement drive failed in under a week.)

    EK-Supreme HF - Acetal+Nickel - $80
    (look at the watercooling performance charts before deciding. also make sure you dont mix metals that can cause corrosion in your system. read up on this before picking out components.)
    EK-RAM Dominator X4 - Acetal+EN (Nickel) - $60
    (do you really need ram cooling? you will still have ambient air cooling from case fans)
    EK-BAY SPIN Reservoir - Acetal - $60
    (have a look at fancy ones on frozencpu and xoxide. i personally like the brushed aluminium ones)
    Koolance PMP-450 - $79
    (your choice in coolants... just read up on them)
    Black Ice GTX Xtreme 480 Radiator - $150
    (do NOT. i repeat do NOT put everything in one loop. also make sure you do a radiator calucation. in my i7 rig with one video card i would have needed one 3x120 and one 2x120 loops for ideal cooling. you will want your video cards and cpu to be one seperate loops. also keep in mind you will need fans that can push/pull with some force. personally i recommend some deltas with a rheostat fan control)
    Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-15 x 4 - $15 x 4 = $60 (I have three already)
    (see above comment. your choice though.)

    it looks like you need to do quite alot of research on watercooling before you even think about buying parts. trust me, do it or you'll be kicking yourself later.

    also keep in mind to budget such parts as:
    -dvd drives (two is great for burning)
    -blueray drive (if it suits your fancy)
    -front bay fan control (high watt model if using deltas)
    -multifunction port (for more usb, camera sd card ports, etc if it suits your fancy)
    -front lcd display (if it suits your fancy)
    -a quality monitor or monitors to go with the build. if you're spending this much on a computer it would really be lame to re-use the same screen unless its of very high quality.



    Thanks for the great suggestions. But yes, I have done extensive research on the parts I selected. The reviews were outstanding on most of my selections. As for the Caviar Black, I already own one and it didn't fail on me. I personally thinks its the best HDD on the market.

    I already have an NZXT external touch screen fan controller, but I plan on getting a front bay knob controller for fans and lights adjusting.

    I already have a blue ray DVD player in my current built and a Dell U2410 IPS screen--calibrated. So I have a great display. I am actually getting two more for this build because I will be gaming across three monitors.

    The pump and rads are reviewed some of the best, so I am not sure why I should go outside those two. And if I do not watercool my RAM and Hard Drive like I was questioning, I will be going with one loop running through my GPU, CPU and Motherboard with 4x120.

    You said "Your choice of coolants" next to the Koolance PMP-450. I am guessing you thought that was a coolant, but the PMP-450 is a pump. It is a pretty well praised pump at that as well.

    I appreciate the res bay suggestion. I too love the brushed metal look.

    The Corsair Obsidian is a nice case, no doubt. But over a TJ11? *Al Pachino Scarface voice* "You craddzyy?"


    EDIT: I just wanted to add about the aftermarket GPU cooling. My graphics cards, especially ones this expensive, are not something I want to void the warranty on. In my life, I have had issues with my GPU over any other part. Replacing one because I screwed something up is not exactly cheap.

    Also, Scythe Typhoons are among the top rated, if not the best for a push pull setup as you recommend.



    Related resources
    December 1, 2011 12:31:29 PM

    i'm sure you did product reviews. i'm just stating my personal preferences with products i've used in the past. theres so many options out there thats really all we can do.

    i'm just stating that i've had very bad luck with my drives. dont get me wrong i love WD drives but i just cannot rely on them like i could before.

    haha...i just saw koolance and thought coolant. my bad.

    as far as actual products go, the DD black ice series really are great. however you really do not want to run both video cards and the rest of your system on one loop due to heat problems. i've read very extensively on this subject and it is always shot-down by most watercooling gurus i've seen. you might also be a bit under-rad as well depending on the performance of the xtreme series. as i stated before my i7 single video card system was hovering on the 4-5x120 black ice ledge. do your own surface area check though.

    perhaps its a matter of opinion but yes i'd recommend a corsair obsidian over a TJ11 any day of the week. its been an absolute joy to work with. the only issue is that cables need to be a little longer than normal due to its full-tower size.

    yeah, if you want to keep a warranty you need to buy ones marketed with cooling blocks attached. i said it was your choice. personally i've had zero issues so i'd be more willing to risk it since at least when i looked gpus with cooling blocks included were CRAZY expensive compared to the normal versions.

    i have nothing against scythe typhoons. if i remember correctly scythe is great at making fans which are more quiet than most. however since you are planning on using some really thick dense radiator blocks you might want something with a little more gusto. delta fans can be a little on the loud side if you push them to 100% but even at low rpms these things move air! i've got one and it was pushing itself across the table when i was testing it! completly up to you though, its only a recommendation.
    December 1, 2011 3:45:47 PM

    Quote:
    i'm sure you did product reviews. i'm just stating my personal preferences with products i've used in the past. theres so many options out there thats really all we can do.

    i'm just stating that i've had very bad luck with my drives. dont get me wrong i love WD drives but i just cannot rely on them like i could before.

    haha...i just saw koolance and thought coolant. my bad.

    as far as actual products go, the DD black ice series really are great. however you really do not want to run both video cards and the rest of your system on one loop due to heat problems. i've read very extensively on this subject and it is always shot-down by most watercooling gurus i've seen. you might also be a bit under-rad as well depending on the performance of the xtreme series. as i stated before my i7 single video card system was hovering on the 4-5x120 black ice ledge. do your own surface area check though.

    perhaps its a matter of opinion but yes i'd recommend a corsair obsidian over a TJ11 any day of the week. its been an absolute joy to work with. the only issue is that cables need to be a little longer than normal due to its full-tower size.

    yeah, if you want to keep a warranty you need to buy ones marketed with cooling blocks attached. i said it was your choice. personally i've had zero issues so i'd be more willing to risk it since at least when i looked gpus with cooling blocks included were CRAZY expensive compared to the normal versions.

    i have nothing against scythe typhoons. if i remember correctly scythe is great at making fans which are more quiet than most. however since you are planning on using some really thick dense radiator blocks you might want something with a little more gusto. delta fans can be a little on the loud side if you push them to 100% but even at low rpms these things move air! i've got one and it was pushing itself across the table when i was testing it! completly up to you though, its only a recommendation.



    Thanks for the great responses dude. Yeah, I have known about Deltas for a while and the amount of air they move is incomparable. But I do want to stay on the quiet side. Nothing beats the GTs when it comes to noise level and air they move on the rads. Among the Deltas, they are the top ranked fan. They don't move as much as the Delta, but then again, Delta sounds like a damn air plane, lol.

    I want to risk putting my own block on the GPUs, but if I go with such a high end card, the extra few hundred might be worth it. But it might not. I am actually still looking into that.

    As for the two loop thing. I am going to take your advise on that and possibly go with a dual res. Possibly the one that has two sections in a double drive bay res that EK makes. Or I might go with the brushed metal one on Xoicide. Still up in the air.

    But, I have 6 months to make up my mind eheh.
    December 1, 2011 6:53:52 PM

    i was planning on watercooling my i7 build back when i built it so i got a delta for testing since they are fairly expensive and i heard they were loud. after testing it turns out that most of the noise is from the airflow and not the fan. if you turn it down low you get the best of both. but again, fan choices are a matter of opinion.

    i never did end up watercooling this time around as the temperatures with the stock fans no less were so reasonable that it wasnt worth the money. even after playing crysis on max for several hours the gpu fan was only at maybe 50%. for some people this is too loud but i've never had an issue so far. i chalk this up to the case being massive and having alot of air to heat up.

    the only reason i'm bringing up the aftermarket blocks for video cards is that some are less restrictive and will cause less of a pressure drop than some that come build from the factory. however unless i'm wrong evga had one before that featured a dangerden block.

    yeah..i would suggest two completely seperate systems. two pumps, two res, two loops. its more expensive but its best considering a dualcard setup.

    well.. 6 months to read watercooling websites. the more the better.
    December 2, 2011 3:15:28 PM

    Quote:
    i was planning on watercooling my i7 build back when i built it so i got a delta for testing since they are fairly expensive and i heard they were loud. after testing it turns out that most of the noise is from the airflow and not the fan. if you turn it down low you get the best of both. but again, fan choices are a matter of opinion.

    i never did end up watercooling this time around as the temperatures with the stock fans no less were so reasonable that it wasnt worth the money. even after playing crysis on max for several hours the gpu fan was only at maybe 50%. for some people this is too loud but i've never had an issue so far. i chalk this up to the case being massive and having alot of air to heat up.

    the only reason i'm bringing up the aftermarket blocks for video cards is that some are less restrictive and will cause less of a pressure drop than some that come build from the factory. however unless i'm wrong evga had one before that featured a dangerden block.

    yeah..i would suggest two completely seperate systems. two pumps, two res, two loops. its more expensive but its best considering a dualcard setup.

    well.. 6 months to read watercooling websites. the more the better.


    Yeah, I feel you. A big reason I want to build such a system, is because I want to take my building from PC Gamer to enthusiast. While still staying relatively close to a good price - performance ratio. I also want to game at max settings across 3 IPS monitors. I already have one U2410 but plan on picking up two more.
    December 13, 2011 1:45:10 PM

    The TJ11 is an absolute dream to work with, seriously nothing compares to it. I have built with the 800D, I thought it was quite excellent, but then I got my TJ11, it blew my mind. Seriously, it is expensive, but worth every penny.
    December 13, 2011 2:05:53 PM

    Quote:
    The TJ11 is an absolute dream to work with, seriously nothing compares to it. I have built with the 800D, I thought it was quite excellent, but then I got my TJ11, it blew my mind. Seriously, it is expensive, but worth every penny.


    It is expensive. But if you factor in the fact that it will last you 3-4 builds (or even longer), it is actually cost effective. My Cosmos Pure ($160) cable management door has become warped, the design inside is poor and the front USB adapters came loose when I removed some devices. One build and I am already replacing. Granted I don't NEED to perse, but one more build and I would. Not to mention if I do any cable management from the rear to the front, the door won't close. Hell, even with my amazing management skills and have not one wire stick out, it still has an issue closing.

    I can't wait to get my TJ11. I actually might pick it up with some small upgrades and transfer over a lot of gear. My current system is definitely a good one.
    December 14, 2011 1:25:22 AM

    er... 2700k won't fit in that mobo.

    2700k is 1155 Sandy Bridge and the mobo is 2011 Sandy Bridge E.

    2700k is a small increase over 2600k.

    Just drop a 2600k in for now with a 1155 mobo (Ivy Bridge ready) that has x16/x16 sli/xfire and may be get IB for cpu upgrade later. But really, the 2600k should be fine without Ivy Bridge upgrade. So skip Ivy bridge.

    Otherwise, go with the original plan and wait for IB cpu and IB native mobo benchmark before purchase.
    December 14, 2011 4:12:54 AM

    This topic has been moved from the section Opinions and Experiences to section Systems by Jsc
    December 14, 2011 5:45:16 AM

    June? Start planning in May. By then the entire building scene will have changed. PCI-E 3.0 cards will be on the market. Ivory Bridge will on the horizon. SSD technology is improving by the day and with SRT you're going to start seeing blazingly fast smaller SLC drives emerging. Six months is an eternity in pc building. While you can plan a water cooling loop and even start putting together rads and pumps as they don't change nearly as fast, your blocks and any components should be chosen much closer to your final build date.
    December 14, 2011 7:25:15 AM

    ivy bridge is expected in April. as well as next gen nvidia, amd bring out new cards end of jan onwards. get sandy-e and then get video cards.
    !